The bar exam begins tomorrow for many of you (e.g., those of you in Above the Law’s home jurisdiction of New York). To those of you sitting for the test tomorrow, we wish you the best of luck. To quote the Facebook status update of a lawyer who has been through the ordeal (and survived):
Good luck, bar takers!! If you get nervous, remember that the bar exam is nothing compared to the crippling debt you will be saddled with for the next 20 years and the meager job prospects you will face!
Cheery, right? Many of you still need to find jobs. But first things first; take one day at a time.
For some of you, the bar exam starts tomorrow. Your friends at Above the Law — and our bar-related advertisers, including Kaplan PMBR and BarMax — wish you the best of luck.
If you’re looking for more review questions, check out our post from yesterday, based on Professor Laurence Tribe’s unfortunate incident at a Safeway supermarket. A few of you have already posted impressive responses, suggesting that you’re going to ace the big test.
But the Larry Tribe fact pattern would have been labeled “EASY.” Here’s something far more challenging, from writer-turned-lawyer Elizabeth Wurtzel, who explains:
When I was studying for the bar for the first time in New Haven, in my total frustration, I wrote a parody of a bar exam question, or may be of a Barbri question. I posted it on the Wall at YLS [Yale Law School's list-serv], and I am told that ever since it has been reposted every bar exam season.
I have gotten suggestions that I publish it, and a couple of people have actually attempted to answer it, which is crazy. In any case, do what you want with it.
It is hilarious, and insane, and it will make your head hurt — or explode. Check it out below….
Prof. Tribe is almost 70; please don't stick him in elevators for long periods of time.
Last Sunday, the eminent constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Westling, got stuck in an elevator at the Safeway supermarket in Georgetown. (Professor Tribe is currently in D.C. to serve in the administration of his former student from Harvard Law School, Barack Obama.)
Read the (rather humorous) write-up of Tribe’s elevator incident in the Washington Post’s Reliable Source column. According to a Safeway spokesman, the company “is trying to figure out what kind of resolution is appropriate.” Options on the table include “some steaks or a gift card.”
For those of you preparing for the bar exam this week, tackle these study questions….
An Israeli court has convicted an Arab man of rape on very interesting grounds. Haaretz reports:
Sabbar Kashur, 30, had consensual sex with a woman after he posed as a Jewish bachelor interested in a long-term relationship.
When the woman found Kashur was not a Jew but an Arab, she filed a police complaint that led to charges of rape and indecent assault.
Kashur was subsequently convicted of “rape by deception,” and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
We’ve got a lot of people studying for the bar exam right now. We need to know: Could a person be convicted of the crime of “making a material misrepresentation to a woman to get her into bed because that’s what guys do,” here in America?
Ann Althouse did it. So can you. (Photo by Richard Lawrence Cohen.)
We are getting very close to bar exam time. Some of you might be thinking that there’s not enough time left. Some of you might be resigned to the fact that you will fail the bar and all your friends will know about it and make jokes about you when you’re not in the room.
Well, if you do fail, jokes will be made at your expense. But there’s still more than enough time to pass. Above the Law received an email from a reader who passed the California bar exam on his first try. The reader took the time to document just how long he spent studying for the test. The total commitment? Under 90 hours.
And that’s for the California February bar, a test that has a passage rate just north of “utterly pathetic.”
So how did he do it? The reader shares his study plan with all of you who are coming into bar prep crunch time…
A tale of three Yalies: Elizabeth Wurtzel, Richard Epstein, and John Yoo.
… or talk about the bar. Welcome to one of those “only on the internet” moments, a spirited debate between three people I adore: Elizabeth Wurtzel, Richard Epstein, and John Yoo. The subject: the bar exam (but also law schools and the legal profession more generally).
Here’s one thing the three share in common: they’re all graduates of Yale Law School. The similarities pretty much end there. Elizabeth Wurtzel is a litigatrix at the high-powered Boies Schiller firm, but her real claim to fame is her work as a bestselling and critically acclaimed writer. Richard Epstein is one of the nation’s leading law professors — U. Chicago and NYU folks, you can argue over which school he belongs to — and an outspoken libertarian. John Yoo, a prominent (and conservative) law professor at UC Berkeley, is most well-known for his work in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, where he authored the so-called “torture memos.”
Wurtzel is super-liberal — her reaction to 9/11 was controversial, to say the least — while Professors Epstein and Yoo both hail from the right side of the aisle (to put it mildly). Back in May, I identified both Epstein and Yoo as possible nominees for the conservative wing of an “unconfirmable” Supreme Court.
So how would you react to learning of a three-way debate between Wurtzel, Epstein, and Yoo — in which the dynamic is not La Wurtzel v. Epstein & Yoo?
The fabulous Elizabeth Wurtzel — the bestselling and critically acclaimed writer, who graduated from Yale Law School and is now a litigatrix at the powerhouse known as Boies Schiller — has a bone to pick with the bar exam. In a recent post on the blog of the Brennan Center — an organization that we won’t try to describe, since some of you objected vigorously to our last attempt — Wurtzel questions the value of the bar exam as a gatekeeping mechanism for lawyers. (Those of you frantically cramming for the test right now might agree with her.)
Wurtzel begins by noting how Kathleen Sullivan — the noted constitutional law scholar, former dean of Stanford Law School, and current name partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan — didn’t pass the California bar.
Bar takers, the big day approacheth. We hope you’ve given up alcohol, television, Facebook, and daily showers, and are making progress on packing as much law into your brains as the remaining time allows. We’ve offered you lots of advice here at ATL: how to go through BAR/BRI faster, how to fail the BAR/BRI midterm and still pass, and how 2 avoid language that will hurt your score.
Some bar takers have had their fill of studying, though, and are looking for distractions. A Mizzou Law grad is in this camp:
I’m studying for the bar right now, and to be honest, little of this sounds like what I learned in law school. So I said to myself, if I didn’t pick up these 20-odd topics, what did I learn?
He came up with a list of the 17 things he learned in law school. Some excerpts:
Walk, don’t run from the police.See Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119 (2000).
A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge.See DeMentas v. Estate of Tallas, 764 P.2d 628, 632 n.6 (Utah App. 1988) (quoting the “colorful, if occasionally irreverent” trial judge: “It’s hearsay, I agree, but it’s damn good hearsay, and I want to hear it.”).
Criminal defendants tend to be idiots. See State v. Gaw, 285 S.W.3d 318, 320 (Mo. banc 2009) (After approaching Gaw’s vehicle, “Sgt. Frazier asked Gaw to give him his marijuana. Gaw reached into his pants pocket, pulled out a small baggie and handed it to the officer.” Gaw was then arrested.).
People litigate some really bizarre stuff.See Tulare Irrigation Dist. v. Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation Dist., 45 P.2d 972, 1007 (Cal. 1935) (use of water by farmers to drown gophers not allowed in area with chronic water shortage).
The full list of lessons learned in law school, after the jump.
Hey, have you read Above the Law for like one single minute in the past month? If so, you probably know that we’re having this big blogger conference on March 14th at the Yale Club. Yeah, the Yale Club. You’ll be able to recognize me: I’ll be the only big… blogger guy surreptitiously holding a can of crimson spray-paint.
Speaking of coming, you should come. We’ve got CLE and all that. Click here to buy tickets to get CLE credit for listening to bloggers scream about stuff on the internet.
To refresh your memory, details on the panel that I’m moderating — almost entirely sober, mind you — follow.
My panel is called Blogs as Agents of Change, and we’re going to talk about whether all of these spilled pixels are actually making a difference. You know my view… just ask Lawrence Mitchell, but here are the panelists:
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
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